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FACTS ABOUT NICARAGUA
Emergency Disasters Database
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US State Department
The World Factbook (C.I.A.)
Nicaragua, one of the hemisphere's poorest countries, faces low per capital income, widespread underemployment, and a heavy external debt burden. Distribution of income is one of the most unequal on the globe. While the country has progressed toward macroeconomic stability in the past few years, GDP annual growth has been far too low to meet the country's needs, forcing the country to rely on international economic assistance to meet fiscal and debt financing obligations.
As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, in the trillion dollar class, Canada enjoys affluent living standards. Given its great natural resources, skilled labour force, and modern capital plant Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Solid fiscal management has produced a balanced budget, although public debate continues over how to manage the rising cost of the publicly funded health care system. Exports account for roughly a third of GDP. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its principal trading partner, the United States, which absorbs more than 85% of Canadian exports.
Nicaragua has a population of 5,675,356.
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua. It is just a little bit bigger than the province of Newfoundland.
Nicaragua faces many challenges not the least of which are earthquakes and weather. During the twentieth century Nicaragua suffered four major earthquakes and four hurricanes plus droughts and other floods.
There were seventeen natural disasters in the twentieth century - one every five or six years. Eleven of the disasters occurred between 1972 and 2001 or one every three years.
Poorly constructed buldings suffered heavy damage in the 1972 earthquake. The struggling economy made restoration and aid a major challenge for the Nicaraguans.
It is little wonder that many Nicaraguans gave up hope. The survivors faced a struggle that few of us can comprehend. Thirteen of the disasters have occurred since 1972!
Hurricane Mitch, which struck in 1998 caused over $987 million dollars in damage. Nicaragua's total budget in 2005 was only $147 million more than that. It takes many years and a great deal of outside help for this struggling country to overcome such a loss.
The loss is not only measured in dollars. These children worked in peanut fields for less than a dollar a day. Many of their parents were in other countries, such as Costa Rica, trying to earn enough money to prevent the banks forclosing on their meagre homes and farms.
65% primary aged children enrolled in school
22% of these finished grade six
rural schools offered one to two years only
25% of rural population was literate
still largely undereducated
67% of population is literate
takes an average of 10.3 years to complete the mandatory six years of schooling
only 29% of children complete six years of education
Total Area: 129,494 sq km
Land Area: 120,254 sq km
Water Area: 9,240 sq km
A very brief history of the country of Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is named for Nicarao, chief of the tribe that lived around present-day Lake Nicaragua about 1500.
1524 - Hernandez de Cordoba founded the first Spanish permanent settlements in the region, inclidong Granada on Lake Nicaragua and Leon east of Lake Managua.
1625, the English arrived in Nicaragua and declared it a British Protectorate called the Mosquito Kingdom, which extended from Belize to the San Juan River
After British left Nicaragua belonged to the Spanish Mexican Viceroyalty and later to the Central America United Provinces Federation
1821 received independence from Spain
1838 became an independent republic
1838 to 1936 continual rivalry between the Liberal elite of Leon and the Conservative elite of Granada often resilting in civil war.
1936 to 1979 Anastasio Somoza Garcia and later his sons ruled Nicaragua
1979 massive uprising led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) deposed the Somoza'a after a guerrilla struggle beginning in the 1960's
1990 Free democratic election held and Mrs. Violeta Barrios de Chamorro became President
1990 to present several democratic elections and governments have brought progress and stability to Nicaragua
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